What is “Our Healthbox”?
Our Healthbox is a “smart”, interactive dispensing machine that provides free and low barrier access (can be available 24/7) to self-testing kits for HIV and COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, plus essential harm reduction supplies (e.g., naloxone kits, clean needles, cookers, crack kits, etc), sexual health supplies (e.g., condoms, lube) and other supplies that we often take for granted (e.g., socks and mittens in the winter, women hygiene supplies, hand sanitizer). Harm reduction and sexual health supplies may vary depending on regional needs and supply availability. It’s also a machine that provides health information, and a support services directory for people to find the health care they need—in their community.
Who are we trying to reach?
MAP’s REACH Nexus is building technology solutions for people to have low-barrier access to get tested for HIV, for them to “know their status”, and to reach the undiagnosed with HIV (1 out of 10 people in Canada who have HIV don’t know it). We have built and launched the I’m Ready Program, where people can download an app to their phone (IOS or Android) to get access to HIV self-testing kits and support for people for testing, prevention and connections to care. Not everyone has a phone, so we are launching Our Healthbox for people who don’t have phones. This program will also reach and support people who use substances and have more complex health, housing and social situations.
Who can access Our Healthbox?
If you live in Canada, are 16 years of age (18 years of age for Quebec residents) and speak English and/or French, you can access Our Healthbox. To dispense items, you will need to consent to the program, register and answer a few questions about yourself – the information that is collected remains private and confidential and will help us evaluate how well the program is working.
Where will Our Healthbox be located?
REACH Nexus is planning to launch 25-30 machines nationally in the first year, with a goal of 100 machines deployed over the next three years. We will be working with local community-based organizations, public health authorities, and health centres to host and maintain Our Healthboxes.
Want to get Our Healthbox in your community?
If you are a community organization and want to place Our Healthbox in your neighbourhood, email us at email@example.com.